The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum will host the 12th annual Maynard Sundman lecture Friday, Nov. 7, from noon to 2 p.m. in the museum’s Discovery Center. Admission is free, with no reservation required. Chris West, the author of A History of America in Thirty-six Postage Stamps, explores America’s rich philatelic history. From George Washington’s dour gaze to the charging buffalo of the western frontier and Lindbergh’s soaring biplane, American stamps are a vivid window into the country’s extraordinary and distinctive past. The lecture will be followed by a reception and book signing, with the first 100 attendees receiving a free copy of the book.
West has written widely in a variety of genres. His titles include a bestselling business guide and a quartet of crime novels. He inherited a love of history from his father and an Edwardian “Lincoln” stamp album from his great-uncle as a child. His love for stamps was revived when he found that same dust-covered album in his attic as an adult. He lives in Cambridgeshire, England.
“The National Postal Museum’s new William H. Gross Stamp Gallery is all about stamps and mail, seen as a window into the larger context of history,” said Daniel Piazza, philatelic curator at the museum. “Chris’ similar approach to American history made his book a great fit for this Sundman Lecture.”
The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., in the Old City Post Office Building across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information visit the museum’s Web site at postalmuseum.si.edu.
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